With 2021 almost done, it is time to look ahead to 2022. Of course, the new year’s holiday is a traditional time to make a resolution to change something in your life. Whether it is losing weight, exercising more, kicking a bad habit or starting a good one, there are unlimited ways to make a resolution. Sadly, these self promises are often unsuccessful. The web site Discover Happy Habits offers some sobering data:
According to a 2016 study, of the 41% of Americans who make New Years resolutions, by the end of the year only 9% feel they are successful in keeping them.
It goes on to share that the top reasons for failure to keep a resolution include unrealistic goals, failure to track progress, forgetting about it, and setting too many goals.
To help you set a resolution you can stick to successfully, here is my own advice from personal practice.
1 – Set only one resolution: Too much change is stressful. Instead identify one thing that will make the most impact and focus your energy on that.
2 – Make the goal realistic: For example, promising to run ten miles every day gets old quick. Getting 10,000 steps a day is simpler to achieve and once you are on a roll the target number can be increased.
3 – Identify a simple change that is easy to implement: If you want to eat healthy, it can be jarring to jump from a regular diet to a low calorie one overnight. Instead, select one food item to eliminate, like processed sugar or salty chips. Sometimes a single change is enough to get the desired result.
4 – Track and celebrate: Make a note of your progress at the end of the day. Whether it is tracking your weight or recording exercise minutes, seeing continual progress is encouraging. Even more exciting is building a streak! Once the momentum starts it will see you through tough days.
5 – Set a time commitment– A resolution doesn’t have to be a lifetime change. One way to beat the inertia to get started on a new habit is to put a time limit on it. For example, commit to exercising one hour a day for 60 days. This makes the change reasonable and offers a way out if it doesn’t work for you. Of course, if the change sticks, keep going beyond the initial time commitment.
Good luck with your New Year’s Resolution and have a happy 2022!